(Turan horned face).
Named By: L. A. Nessov, L. F. Kaznyshkina & G. O. Cherepanov - 1989.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Ornithischia, Ceratopsoidea.
Species: T. tardabilis (type).
Size: Estimated about 2 meters long.
Known locations: Uzbekistan - Bissekty Formation.
Time period: Turonian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial remains of several individuals.
is some confusion about Turanoceratops, given
that we know that it
was a ceratopsian
dinosaur, but not all palaeontologists agree upon
exactly what kind. Papers published by Sues and Averianov in 2009
support the idea that Turanoceratops was a
transitional form that
linked primitive ceratopsians of the Ceratopsoidea, with the more
advanced ceratopsids (think Triceratops,
If correct then this would make Turanoceratops the
ceratopsian dinosaur known from Asia.
A counter publication by Farke et al (also published in 2009), was of the opinion that Turanoceratops was not a transitional form, but instead actually represented a sister group of ceratopsian dinosaurs, more distinct that primitive forms, yet distinct from ceratopsids. A second paper by Sues and Averimov refuted this, saying that the authors of the other paper were misidentifying the features seen on the Turanoceratops fossils. Then in 2010 a fourth paper was published by Xu et al which was of the opinion that Turanoceratops was more advanced than Zuniceratops (a genus that represents the earliest known appearance of a horned dinosaur in North America), yet was not advanced enough to be included within the Ceratopsidae.
Classification issues aside, Turanoceratops was typical of early quadrupedal ceratopsian dinosaurs and at two meters long of a fairly small size. When compared to other genera, Turanoceratops is often credited as being similar to the aforementioned Zuniceratops. Turanoceratops would have lived in an ecosystem that also saw the presence of dinosaurs such as hadrosaurs, ankylosaurs, oviraptosaurs, ornithomimosaurs, troodonts and dromaeosaurs as well as other Mesozoic reptiles such as azhdarchid pterosaurs.
- [Mesozoic ceratopsian dinosaurs and crocodiles of central Asia]. In Bogdanova and Khozatskii (eds.), Theoretical and Applied Aspects of Modern Palaeontology 144-154. - L. A. Nessov, L. F. Kaznyshkina & G. O. Cherepanov - 1989.
- Turanoceratops tardabilis—the first ceratopsid dinosaur from Asia. - Naturwissenschaften. - H. -D. Sues & A. Averianov - 2009.
- Turanoceratops tardabilis—sister taxon, but not a ceratopsid. - Naturwissenschaften. A. Farke, S. D. Sampson, C. A. Forster & M. A. Lowen - 2009.
- Phylogenetic position of Turanoceratops (Dinosauria: Ceratopsia). - Naturwissenschaften. - H. D. Sues & A. Averianov - 2009.
- First ceratopsid dinosaur from China and its biogeographical implications. - Chinese Science Bulletin 55(16):1631-1635 - X. Xu, K. -B Wang & D. -J. Li - 2010.